Indigenous Knowledge

Our flagship product – Improving Livelihoods through the application of ICTs, embraces inclusion. We believe that grassroots are equal partners in the ICT dialogue. We approach indigenous knowledge and communities in place from two perspectives. First we engage them using their indigenous language. Click here (Ukuvikela Umlilo Waphandle)to see how we communicate disaster management in indigenous language . This removes the perception that ICT is a foreign tool. Using indigenous languages enables us to tape into indigenous knowledge systems that have served communities in place since time immemorial. For example there is empirical evidence that indigenous people can forecast impending disasters and bumper harvests by observing the behaviours of animals around them. In Swaziland, local communities can predict draught or floods through observing nesting patterns of the emahlokohloko bird (Ploceus spp.), a sparrow that nests along river banks. If the emahlokohloko nests are high up the trees, then floods are highly likely to happen whilst very low nests predict draught. Such examples are numerous and have gained scientific validation to the extent that the World conference on Science held in Budapest recommended that scientific and indigenous knowledge systems should be integrated.

Second we use Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) methods in engaging communities in place during ICT planning workshops where grassroots and other marginalised groups tell us the information required in projects that improve their livelihoods. We have developed a comprehensive practice framework that provides a state-of-play guide on how PRA can be integrated into software development, project and change management and monitoring and evaluation. These are areas which are traditionally thought to be out of bounds for grassroots and rural poor. Our framework enables you to involve them and infuse their indigenous knowledge in developing ICT for Development systems that improves the livelihoods of communities you serve.